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1.1 Background of the study 

The frequency of collapse of building structures in Nigeria in the previous several years and lately has been highly scary and worrisome. Many lives and assets have been lost in the collapse of buildings predominantly in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos accordingly. Many property owners have acquired high blood pressure and others have been sent to an early death. A visit to the collapsing scenes were as illuminating as they were tragic and one could not but wonder why such contraption could have been allowed to exist or to what length individuals may go to make costs at the price of regard for safety and respect for life. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of structures of comparable characteristics dotting the skyline of several cities in Nigeria. That building collapse incidence are still routinely happening despite rising dissemination of technical knowledge over the years begs for some re-examination of progress in building production and control process (Dimuna, 2010). (Dimuna, 2010).

Development and building of property is highly vital to every individual in life, as such, many persons immerse themselves in construction of property for either personal usage or for financial objectives. In Lagos State, every investor would desire to purchase a property owing to the fast economic growth and type of investment, while some are of prestige. No investor or property owner will be thrilled to watch his/her building fall. Therefore, the requirement to follow the requisite due procedure before commencing on development of property is crucial. Building collapse is becoming a severe concern in Nigeria in general and Lagos in particular since it has a lot of influence on the economy notably the development sector. Many investors nowadays has failed owing to their strategies of developing property and therefore lead to waste of many lives and homes worth millions or billions of Naira in certain situations. The collapse does occur as a consequence of greed, incompetence and corruption on the side of the contractors and developers in building sector. The regulatory authorities and related professional organizations require coordination to guarantee adherence to construction laws in Lagos State (Chika, 2008). The exponential population expansion and the subsequent productive activities required to support humanity drives the need to be increasingly urgent. The drive to meet up with this need has led to numerous techniques of accomplishing the housing and infrastructure development some genuine and some phony approached, which lead to structures of varied characteristics. When the quality of these buildings fall below specific levels, structural collapses are unavoidable. In the recent years, a number of breakdowns are being experienced among the existing buildings and those under development. The failure rate has gotten this prevalent that we have nearly lost track of the number of these calamities. A two-storey market plaza in Oshodi, a suburb Lagos State fell on the 28th of April 2010, , killing at least four (4) individuals and leaving many more injured. Every structural system is meant to suit certain demands and be safe to prevent loss of life, property and harm to the environment. In a regular set up, failures are not anticipated within the planned lifetime of structures. But because to the faults in the activities of human beings and the presence of so many other external elements that impact the safety of buildings, failures do occur (Ede, 2010). Generally, buildings do collapse over time as a consequence of human causes such as carelessness, design faults, ageing, material fatigue, harsh operating and climatic circumstances, accidents, terrorist attacks and natural disasters. But the reasons of building collapse in Nigeria may be related to atypical elements not attainable in many other countries. The Lagos State Government identified the principal causes of collapse within the Lagos areas as: deficient foundations, inadequate steel reinforcement, poor materials and workmanship and inexperience professionals, hasty construction, no soil test, greed, poor supervision and non-adherence to the building codes. As these unfavorable realities develop in the Nigerian built environment, new crises continue to arise throughout the globe. Today, the globe is confronting a variety of much more significant man-made and natural challenges than the sort being confronted in the Nigerian built environments. One of the primary concerns facing the globe today is the global climate change induced by the loss of ozone layer. Our living with this issue is a fact since almost most of the global problems and emergencies are tied to that. Our environment is not adjusting naturally to the strains produced by unsustainable population expansion and the associated rise in human activity. As the repercussions of the climate change are being made clear over the globe, it is now known to us that no country including Nigeria is immune from its effects. The inhabitants living in the low-lying coastal districts of southern Nigeria, notably in Lagos are under peril. About half of the population of Lagosians living largely in slums and squatter colonies are vulnerable to this threat. Though, Nigeria is a country that is free from natural disasters like other countries of the world including the developing one that suffers earthquakes of different magnitude, flood, hurricane etc, but the only incidence that is disturbing and claiming peoples’ lives and properties is the incessant collapse of building in the country. The construction sector are playing a vital and dynamic part in the process of sustainable economic growth and development of any country and more than 50 percent of the gross fixed capital budget of Nigeria generally takes the shape of construction outputs (Wase, 2004). Research was carried out by (Bamidele, 2000) and (Fadamiro, 2002) on the causes of building collapse in Nigeria and identified the following five (5) major causes viz; natural phenomenon, design error, procedural error, sub-standard material, poor workmanship, the lack of maintenance, the abuse of use of building etc. Research found that the inferior material and bad craftsmanship contribute 45 percent to the total causes of building collapse in Lagos State. (Ogunsemi, 2002) highlighted that inadequate materials equal to 18.4 percent of the overall cause of building collapse while bad craftsmanship amount to 19 percent . Building collapse may occur as a consequence of various problem in building which are not swiftly put in place by the property owner such as; Defective plastered renderings, Cracking of walls and ripping walls,  Defective rainwater items, Decayed floor boards, Dampness penetration via walls, and Unstable foundation.

All these faults in construction if not adequately monitored ad maintained, over time might lead to sudden building collapse (Gafar, 2004).  Construction collapse had been a significant issue and worry to the government and experts in building industry as they have been making attempts in their different methods to decrease this constant collapse if not fully prevented. Therefore, this study aims to demonstrates in complete details the inquiry of the reasons of building collapse in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the problem

In the construction industry nowadays with respect to Lagos, building collapse has been one of the biggest challenges encountered by both the private and public contractor, whether for personal use and for financial objectives. Lagos is a place where building collapse occur regularly and has the highest number of building collapse occurrences that claimed roughly 64 lives during 1982-1996 (Dimuna, 2010).  In the past thirty seven (37) years (1974-2010), Lagos State has recorded quite a number of cases of building collapse in areas like Ebute-Metta, Lagos-Island, Mushin, Oshodi, Maryland, Ojuelegba, Ikeja, Agege, Idumota, Ketu, Central Lagos, Surulere, etc as well as Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano that also has the high number of building collapse cases. This has created a very significant issue for people in the construction sector, the government and individuals who are involved property development in the nation and in Lagos State. The disturbing trend and instances present the issue of what can be the reason of building collapse in the state? Several issues have been related with this, some of which include carelessness, avarice, fragile foundations, not enough steel reinforcement, hurried construction, no soil test, poor supervision and non-adherence to the building regulations (Ede, 2010).As part of the issue of building collapse, some of the builders i.e. owners of building under construction deviate from their authorized designs depending more on imagination and fantasy. Secondly, the authorizing authorities are also known to fail to check compliance with authorized plans. Thirdly, some building owners ignore specialists in order to minimize expenses. Fourthly, the high cost of construction supplies has caused unscrupulous contractors with eyes on profit, to patronize poor products. These shortcut tactics have contributed enormously to the prevalence of failing structures in the nation (Adeniya, 2002).  Before independence, building erected in Nigeria were in compliance with the global standards, but surprisingly from oil boom of 1970 till now, all manner of illicit activities that unwholesome professional practices have crept in Nigeria system, all they want is just the job done caring little or nothing about professionalism. Therefore the aforementioned difficulties and question is when will developers in Nigeria begin to follow the necessary channel before starting on construction?, and when will the building regulation be regulated by government for every development to take place?. Therefore it is against this backdrop that causes of building collapse will be looked at.

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